Friday, August 10, 2012

WD Muhammad Appreciation Week in Dallas

Speakers: Imams Qasim, Abdullah, Kavakci, Siddiqi, Shahed and Mike Ghouse
As Salaamu Aliakum - may you be soaked in peace, drenched in peace and when you say that back to me, I am in the same boat of peace. Together, we are going to talk peace and act peace.

Today we are celebrating the work of Imam Warith Deen Mohammad, but before I highlight Imam Warith Deen Muhammad’s work, let me ask you this, who was the first person on this earth to start the interfaith dialogue? Prophet Muhammad!

Do you know who was the first Muslim in the United States to start the interfaith dialogue? Imam WD Muhammad!

Thank you.

Imam Warith Al-Deen Mohammed was one of the most distinguished Muslim leaders in the United States; He has been the spiritual leader and inspiration of the Muslim community in general and African American Muslim community in Particular. Warith Deen Mohammad is recognized worldwide as a leading Islamic thinker, philosopher and a religious leader.
He was “America’s Imam.” Imam Warith Deen Mohammed saw the limited world of his father’s Nation of Islam and boldly transformed it into an open religious community following the principles of Islam. Imam Mohammed’s philosophy of bringing all faiths together for the good of humanity must be appreciated. And today, in the interfaith circles, leaders from various spiritual paths celebrate the legacy of his work.

He had about 2 to 2.5 Million Muslims following him that is about a 3rd of Muslims in America.  Imam Mohammed’s leadership changed the perceptions of African Americans as well as the Muslims around the world.

He interacted with President Jimmy Carter, President Clinton, President Sadat of Egypt, Prime Minister Mandela of South Africa, Pope John Paul, Archbishop of Canterbury and several Rabbis and other religions leaders of the world.

He is an outstanding communicator, his video recordings of the first incident with Prophet Muhammad, where Angel Gabriel asks him to read, “ Iqra” is not only humorous, but makes a great point.   He followed the teachings of Quraan and found them in common with other religions.

He was following Quraan 49:13 (Asad) O men! Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.

All of us have problems with each others, isn’t because we don’t know each other? Subhan Allah, God’s guidance was clear - know each other, and when you do, conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Say Amen!

 He reached out to Christians and Jews and others to nurture goodwill and good working relations. Today, we are celebrating his legacy.

When Imam W. Deen Mohammed spoke in San Francisco, he was addressing to nearly all African American audience, realizing the enclaves people were chambered in, he urged them to think of themselves not in racial categories but in human terms.

He was indeed a critical thinker; he was able to see a different perspective and figure out the best way to work on building a cohesive America, one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

He wanted to think about ourselves, what we think about others, he reminded the Black Caucus in the congress, to think about the idea of forming a white caucus and how they would feel about.  Muhammad urged everyone to think about the universality of all people - and that defining religion for any one race is dangerous.

The effort was intended to show that the ideals set forth in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are similar ideals called for in the Quran.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The Imam was inspired by Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon, where he said, no Arab is superior to an African and vice versa... no man is superior to the other. Indeed that was the equal opportunity mantra that he delivered 1400 years ago, that we just signed in 1963.  

We take the pledge - one nation under God with liberty and justice for all, what are we doing about it? What are our fears? What is your vision for America?

Bringing and causing a change is our responsibility; President Kennedy pointed us in the right direction, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. When we give to the country, we collectively receive as well.

The kind of world we want was best expressed by Native American Chief Seattle; “All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does it to himself."

Martin Luther King had a dream, and each one of us have a dream… a dream to have livable wages, a loving family, children, a home, reliable car, decent health care, and comfortable retirement. A majority of Americans want a just society with safety and security. We want to live our lives as good neighbors and let others live theirs.

It is our right to pursue that dream.  Our founding fathers laid the foundation of the creed for such a society, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness".

Our spirit is to have a vision for a future America, Martin Luther King Jr. expressed that in his famous speech, “I have a dream that our little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Let’s explore daily opportunities to make America a better place for each one of us. Let’s treat others as we would wish to be treated and have compassion for others who might look different.
If we can learn to respect the otherness of other, and accept the God given uniqueness of each American, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

We are committed to providing education, workshops, and training for future leaders. We have programs in place to move forward. All we need is your support.

One of the other major work of Imam WD Muhammad was intra-faith, to honor him on that work, I invite, Muslims from all denoniminations to come together in Ramadan. Make a group, one from each one of the mosques, in our case in Dallas Fort Worth, we have about 30 mosques - we will form a group and each day, as a group, we will visit a mosque an Iftaar. I have begun this process two years ago, and Alhamdu Lillah, we need to take this further.

Thank you.

MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics,civic affairsIslamIndiaIsrael, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post,and several other periodicals across the world. The blog is updated daily.  

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